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Background Brief: Vietnam: Chairman of Asia Commercial Bank Ly Xuan Hai Arrested Carlyle A. Thayer August 24, 2012

THAYER CONSULTANCY: I am getting reports that the chairman of ACB [Asia Commercial Bank], Ly Xuan Hai, will be arrested (August 23, 2012). CLIENT: We saw reports last night (August 22, 2012) 10pm-ish that he had been arrested. Then all reports taken down… and then this morning a statement saying he had not been arrested… Deputy general director of ACB (Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank) Nguyen Thanh Toai denied rumors that the bank’s general director Ly Xuan Hai was arrested yesterday evening. Toai told Voice of Vietnam today morning that there have been no major developments after Nguyen Duc Kien was arrested on August 20 evening. Toai admitted that there are some websites claiming that Ly Xuan Hai has been arrested but such websites are small, are blogs and not official news outlets. All official newswires in Vietnam have either deleted their articles [about Hai’s arrest] or have not published such information, Toai added. What do you think is going on? ANSWER: If he has been arrested it would be a new ball game because Nguyen Duc Kien was linked to other companies. CLIENT: He was arrested! Vietnam arrests another top banker as scandal grows Published on Aug 24, 2012 HANOI (AFP) - Vietnam arrested another top banker on Thursday, state media said, widening a police probe into the communist country's banking sector which has rattled markets and triggered a run on deposits. The arrest of Ly Xuan Hai for "deliberate wrongdoing causing serious consequences" came just hours after the Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) announced he had resigned from the position of director general, Thanh Nien online reported.

2 Police have raided the French-educated banker's house in southern Ho Chi Minh City and his office, the report said. Hai's arrest deepened the problems facing ACB, which has seen its share price dive nearly 20 per cent and had jittery depositors withdraw more than US$200 million (S$250 million) of deposits since its flamboyant founder was arrested on Monday. Any comments on how this is a game changer? ANSWER: Clearly the private sector is coming under scrutiny.

Suggested citation: Carlyle A. Thayer, “Vietnam: Chairman of Asia Commercial Bank Ly Xuan Hai Arrested,” Thayer Consultancy Background Brief, August 24, 2012. Thayer Consultancy Background Briefs are archived and may be accessed at:

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